Talking Dance: Dance Ecologies

Martin del Amo and Featured Artists

Initiated and led by choreographer Martin del Amo, Talking Dance: Dance Ecologies centres around a series of conversations, designed to explore more deeply the way independent choreographers work within the Australian arts sector, and how Critical Path relates to that inter-relationship.

Martin interviewed three groups of artists made up of three dance makers each, whose professional trajectories frequently intersect and who have all engaged in different ways with Critical Path, forming three ‘mini ecologies’. They are Angela Goh, Rhiannon Newton and Ivey Wawn; Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, Victoria Hunt and Kirk Page; Thomas E.S. Kelly, Katina Olsen and Taree Sansbury.

Martin’s interviews with the artists have been distilled into three texts, which can be accessed via the webpage links below.

The project concluded with a public conversation between Martin and Rhiannon, Victoria and Katina, where each artist discussed the project and shared some further insights into their artistic practice. A link to the video recording of this conversation can be found below the texts.


Talking Dance: Dance Ecologies
Introduction by Martin del Amo

The first time I heard the term ‘ecology’ used in relation to the arts was from Keith Gallasch, then Managing Editor of arts magazine RealTime. In his 2005 Platform Paper Art in a Cold Climate: Rethinking the Australia Council, he describes the arts as an eco system, ‘a self-organising, intricate, dynamic network of numerous agents looped together, competing for but primarily sharing resources, mutually evolving and responding to emerging innovations, and without a governing consciousness.’ Gallasch acknowledges that he was inspired to develop the ecology metaphor after, a few years earlier, he had heard Dr Amanda Card, then Executive Producer of dance company One Extra, refer to the local dance scene as an ‘eco system’.

Over time, the term ‘arts ecology’ has gained quite a bit of traction. And 15 years on, it still resonates. Personally, I find it particularly useful when discussing the Australian dance sector as the term so effectively speaks to its complex set of relationships, intricate collaborative networks and multilateral partnerships. Of course, every ecology contains many smaller ecologies within itself, and the Australian dance ecology is no exception.

The aim of Talking Dance: Dance Ecologies is to shed light on some of those smaller ecologies making up the broader Australian dance eco system. For this purpose, I have assembled three groups of dance makers whom I will interview in the coming months. They are: Angela Goh, Rhiannon Newton, Ivey Wawn; Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, Victoria Hunt, Kirk Page; and Thomas E.S. Kelly, Katina Olsen, Taree Sansbury. I will then distil the interviews with each ‘ecology’ into three texts published on the Critical Path website throughout the year. The project will culminate in a live public conversation that I will conduct with one artist from each ‘ecology’ in October.

Dance Ecology One – Angela Goh, Rhiannon Newton & Ivey Wawn

Dance Ecology Two – Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, Victoria Hunt & Kirk Page

Dance Ecology Three – Thomas E.S. Kelly, Katina Olsen & Taree Sansbury

Live Conversation – Video Recording

Banner image credits:
Martin del Amo – Heidrun Löhr
Angela Goh – Jacquie Manning, Rhiannon Newton – Miska Mandic, Ivey Wawn – Matthew Syres
Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal – Matthew Syres, Victoria Hunt – Kate Holmes, Kirk Page – Kate Holmes
Thomas E.S. Kelly – Kate Holmes, Katina Olsen – Patrick Cook, Taree Sansbury – Kate Holmes

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